Those of us who fight in the trenches of foreclosure court see first hand a very personal and very devastating aspect of the fraud and the lies and the crimes that lie at the very heart of this nation’s financial system. Looking back on my blog posts over these years, I see an evolution first from raising alarms about these crimes, these frauds, these lies, then naively thinking that any government (federal, state, local) would do anything about it and finally accepting where we are right now, circa 2014 when we must acknowledge that all of government made a deal with the financial devils that they would not hold anyone accountable, but rather they (“our” government would become partners in the on-going crime spree.
After all, the bank lawyers and lobbyist argued, if you hold us accountable, if you uphold the law, the world will end. And so they got away with it. All of it. The National Mortgage Settlement and all of the other settlements are not evidence of any enforcement, they are evidence that the banks, the criminal banking cartels have gotten away with their crimes. What fines and penalties they generously agreed to hand back to their government minders are fractions of percentages of what they actually stole a small cost of doing business.
The costs to all of us will be immeasurable. How do we ever even begin to account for the lack of confidence and trust that all citizens should have, faced with a government that they know has sold them out?
The Crash is going to come again. From Salon:
Bloomberg financial reporter Bob Ivry has written an entertaining new book, “The Seven Sins of Wall Street,” which, instead of rehashing the various illegal activities that triggered the financial meltdown, focuses on what the banks have been up to since the crisis. Much of it would be familiar to readers of this space: the Bank of America whistle-blowers who were instructed to lie to homeowners, and received gift card bonuses for pushing them into foreclosure; the London Whale derivatives trade that lost JPMorgan Chase more than $6 billion; the investment banks who traded commodities while also operating physical commodity warehouses and facilities; and more. All the while, megabanks continue to enjoy subsidies on their borrowing costs because of the (accurate) perception that they will get bailed out in the event of any trouble.
The odds are that trouble will present itself soon.
Ivry’s opening quote in the book comes from Jamie Dimon, whose daughter asked him, “’Dad, what’s a financial crisis?’ Without trying to be funny, I said, ‘It’s something that happens every five to seven years.’” A quick check of the calendar reveals that we’re almost six years out from the bursting of the housing bubble and the fall of Lehman Brothers.
So are we on the precipice of another financial crisis, and what will it look like?